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Understanding the Origins of Crime

November 23rd 2015 - December 22nd 2015

Criminologists, like scientists generally, agree that life resulted from a process of natural selection. But most do not use that information when studying what crime is and why it exists. In this course, you will learn the process of natural selection and how it can be used to make sense of criminal behavior.

MODULE 1 – EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: 8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment 23 – 29 Nov
MODULE 2 – FAMILIES AND CRIME: 8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment 30 Nov – 6 Dec
MODULE 3 – “STATUS” HOMICIDES: 9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment 7 – 13 Dec
MODULE 4 – WAR IN ITS NATURAL CONTEXT: 9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment 14 – 20 Dec

You will learn

  • What natural selection is and how to predict what it will do
  • The definition of “biological functionality” and some of the common misconceptions about it
  • Some of the basic lessons we can learn about our species and crime from an understanding of Darwinian theory
  • Why kin murder is so rare, but the reasons it does occur
  • Some of the reasons infanticide and child neglect occur
  • The origins of jealousy and its relationship to spousal homicides
  • The characteristics of a “typical” homicide
  • Why status is so important and how it relates to aggression
  • War and warriorship, and examples from across the animal kingdom
  • How natural selection rewards warfare
  • How pathogens relate to war in the modern world

This course requires approximately 2 – 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments. The total video time for this course is approximately 3 hours 7 minutes.

If you pass this course you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn’t a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.


November 23rd 2015
December 22nd 2015
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